Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time Is A Slippery Slope

I've had my "Brain Box" for years,
















I keep a Planner,
(Yes, it's so full of IDEAS it won't zip.)



















and I keep a tiny white board in the kitchen with my weekly schedule in plain view.

To some this may appear annal. OCD. Controlling. To me it's sanity. I don't have to even try to remember what I want to do, what I need to do, what I have to do. This releases me from appointment anxiety. Sets me free from the trials of the dreaded What Did I Forget To Do. What time am I supposed to be in Braymer? I don't know but my planner does. When was the last time I checked for cobwebs in the corner? I don't know but my Brain Box does. Do I have time to play on Facebook? Check the whiteboard to see where I am on my list. I LOVE BEING SCHEDULED. Once a week or so I SYNC UP with those folks I interact with the most.

STUFF HAPPENS. Even in the best of circumstances stuff happens to derail the Plan. Take this morning. My Plan was to write articles as soon as the chores were done. But, Rocky had his own Plan.
Rocky in one of his most endearing moments.










He decided that being "outside" the barn-pasture was more fun than being inside. Never mind the electric fence. I saw him make the decision to get shocked. Three times. Afterall, chasing chickens is SO worth a second's worth of JOLT. By his third time out he had wised up and was no longer a breeze to catch. So, there went a good portion of my "planned time". Since I started this blog he got out twice more; FarmBoy is out there dealing with him. I'd better go.

No worries. I just PLAN IT FORWARD.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

When The Cow Comes Home

One moment it's all jack o' lanterns and pumpkins and turkeys and the next it's tinsel and shopping and reindeer. I've always said once Halloween arrives, the year is gone in a flash.

FarmBoy and I can't believe we have lived on our farm a year. Wow. We just put the gardens to bed and are already planning next year's crops; my shelves are filled with new and exciting seed catalogs.

I'm planning something new in the way of planting: WINTER SOWING. I'm pretty excited and am collecting "planters": cartons and containers of all kinds. Planting time will begin on Winter Solstice-- December 22.

Emma


Our miniature Jersey cow, Emma, is home. After a couple of delivery snafus she arrived before the turkey on Thanksgiving. What a difference in the barnyard dynamic. We knew Rocky, our Anatolian, would be all stressed and confused and that the goats would wonder what the heck?

We isolated Rocky in another pen so he wouldn't spook Emma. Sure enough he went hyper as soon as Emma stepped out of the trailer--barking and pacing the fence. Emma took advantage of her size and stature by intimidating the goats and promptly took over the barn and the barn yard.

Willie and Coco


FarmBoy built the goats--Belle, Coco & Willie--a ramp to the barn loft so they could get away from Emma when they chose to. They exercised that option immediately! Don't let the "miniature" fool you; Emma is hefty and round and knows how to throw her weight around.

Emma discovered the zap in the electric fence so we have not had to retrieve her from neighboring pastures but she has made a cow path parallel to the fence circling the entire enclosure. The grass is long and lush so she takes time out from her travels to munch.

Rocky and Cassie


Thanksgiving evening we left for a while and when we got back home we discovered Rocky had gone to the "rescue" of his goats. He had either jumped or climbed the fence in his isolation pen and joined his little darlings. I have no idea how he managed to get inside the electric fence as he has never tried to get out of it.
That night the goats went up to their loft and Emma promptly lay down in front of the doorway blocking Rocky outside to bark all night.

So now we have a 3 ring circus: Rocky and Emma barking and butting (Emma usually the instigator) and Belle, Coco and Willie just trying to stay out of the way. It really gets hectic when I go through the gate at feeding time. Since rain was in the forecast FarmBoy and I put up a hasty shelter for Rocky, but that night Rocky got into the barn first, so Emma spent the night outside. Ei yi yi.

It rained all day yesterday and it looked like everyone was dry so they must have worked it out to their mutual satisfaction. Emma has been home 3 and a half days and the barn seems to have quieted down somewhat. She is due to calve in April...FRESH MILK A COMIN'! The goats go up and down their ramp like it was the Himalayas, Rocky does his best to stay between Emma and his goats and Emma is still searching for a break in the fence. I am looking forward to the day when the lion (Rocky) lies down with the lamb (Emma). After all we have entered the season of PEACE; a FarmGirl can hope you know.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How To Tuesday Pumpkin Pie



Is this cheating? I posted how to cook a pumpkin about a month ago, but that was the cliff notes--this is the book. And, this one has a happy-ever-after ending: A PIE!


Start with a pumpkin...any pumpkin will do but I had this luscious, beautiful Galeuse D'Eysines. Or, as we say in Missouri, Peanut Pumpkin.


Clean the pumpkin with a good organic cleaner. I use Basic H from Shaklee.


Cut into average sized slices.


Remove the seeds. Roast 'em or save them to plant!


Add small amount of water to baking pan.


Arrange slices skin side up in pan, cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325 until pumpkin is fork tender. The amount of baking time will depend on how large your pumpkin is; this one took 90 minutes.



Remove the pumpkin from the skin; this is a breeze, it comes right off.


Puree the pulp to remove the fibers. You can do this with a hand held crank type or an electric mixer.


Now you have a bowl full of beautiful, creamy pumpkin. This one made enough for four pies!

Recipe:
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
1/12 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg, cloves and cardamom
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Bake 425 for 15 minutes; reduce temp to 350 for 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. The baking time will depend on the amount of water in your pumpkin.


Wala. The perfect Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENTS

Herbal First Aid scheduled for Dec 13 is POSTPONED until January 17.

NEW UNSCHEDULED HERB CLASS: Winter Solstice Planting Dec 20 10 am to noon $20. This class is all about WINTER SEED PLANTING. Get a head start on spring!

FINAL KIDS CLASS: Plant Reproduction. Dec 6 Tues 10 to noon. $5. There will be NO KIDS CLASSES January thru May. The summer program will begin in June.

CRAFT CLASSES: Gift Boxes --charming paper boxes with matching cards or gift tags--November 29 10 am to noon $20 No craft class in December.
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